At our July 11th event "Jobs are Not Enough," director of the Asset Building Program, Reid Cramer, spoke about the cornerstones of the asset building field and outlined some of the key policy ideas needed to advance an assets-based agenda. Savings, he notes, should be at the base of asset building efforts, because flexible financial resources are what help families weather times of economic hardship, such as the years of instability brought on by the Great Recession.
As he notes in the video below, promoting family financial security in the long term will require a careful look at the tax code. As our 2012 Assets Report shows, the distributive nature of the existing tax system overwhelmingly benefits higher income people. Cramer advocates for promoting fairness in the tax code by creating mechanisms that reward lower-income people for saving and help them strategically build up their assets. The Saver's Bonus, for example, is just one way this could work. He also explores opportunities to save across the lifecourse, such as through children's savings accounts and workplace-based accounts.
Reid Cramer's piece in the Monthly "The Assets Agenda" is available here.
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